Posts Tagged ‘music’
Hmph. 2009. The highs and lows experienced this year are incomparable. If this were a personal blog, I might let you in on a couple of little secrets but NO. Some of the things I made peace with: torrents, need for smart phone, twitter, clutter, my gringo accent while speaking Spanish, and even though I can’t listen to all the music in the world, I can still be a snob about it. Here is my list of the best music I heard in 2009, all of this stuff took me through it and back.
Best Full Length Albums
Kid Sister – Ultraviolet
Finally, a superstar takes being from Chicago and fabulizes it for the masses. The references to my City’s many contributions to dance music are too many to list, Kid Sister does it anchored with a natural talent for accessible and fierce one-liners. If you don’t get it, that’s because you are looking forward to buying your future home in the suburbs for the peace and quiet.
Fagget Fairys–Feed the Horse
This duo of Danish lesbians come out swinging in favor of vag-on-vag sex and marijuana, spitting in various languages over even more varied electronic musical styles. Bollywood to dubstep, house to baile funk, Palms Out Sounds made one hell of a discovery here.
Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
I can’t really expound on this more than anyone else has, except to say that there is not one bad song on the record. Not one.
Micachu & The Shapes – Jewelery
Looking like the poster child for future butches of America, front woman Mica Levi’s first record can’t be messed with. Completely customized instruments and a love for no-wave and folk, Jewelery’s strength forces you to find beauty in chaos–a fine lesson in both life and music.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz
The serious snooze that was Show Your Bones didn’t give me high hopes for this. Instead, YYY’s found real heart in their mild side, and created a fantastic new sound for themselves. New wave synths over a charismatic female lead might easily fall into run of the mill pop diva, but the sparkle here has really sharp, serrated edges.
Girls – Album
Wow an earnest white man plays guitar music. Oh man the uniqueness. This record’s saving grace is the plain-spoken mope over triumphant, sunshine-y hooks. The contrast is delicious.
La Roux – S/T
Eleanor Jackson and Ben Langmaid say this project is 50/50 collaboration, and it’s no wonder. The push and pull between the chunky electronics and Jackson’s vocal leads elevate this band head and shoulders above the other Human League biters. Haven’t done this much dance-and-sing-along to a record in a while.
Antony & The Johnsons – The Crying Light
Nothing like a genderless voice cutting your chest up with an angel’s knife to get you up in the morning. A new sophistication in song structure and a confidence in expression allows The Crying Light its many, many heart-string tugs…tugs which happen to come from a giant, pansexual, lightning wielder with freshly moisturized skin.
Metric – Fantasies
Emily Haines could save the planet.
Gossip – Music for Men
I heard rumors about a “backlash” to Gossip’s new stylishness, but I ain’t seen it. Haven’t met a fan who abandoned them after the new glam phase, and why would they? Beth Ditto NEEDS to be a celeb. We’ve all wanted her to be from the beginning, and Music for Men is a hard disco record done right.
Top Ten Songs from Non-Top Ten Albums:
(all these download links hosted by other blogs, can’t say how long they’ll be up)
Telepathe – So Fine
Kiss In Cities – UR My Girl
Memory Tapes – Bicycle
N.A.S.A. – Gifted Feat. Kanye West, Santigold & Lykke Li
Yacht – Summer Song
The xx – Heart Skipped a Beat
Atlas Sound – Criminals
Love Is All – Movie Romance
Yeah Big + Kid Static – The Nameless
Scotland Yard Gospel Choir – Sixteen is Too Young
Top Remixes I Downloaded in 2009:
Private – My Secret Lover (Lifelike Remix)
Little Boots – Earthquake (Treasure Fingers Epic Wave Remix)
Marina and the Diamonds – I am Not Robot (Starsmiths 24 Carat Remix)
Major Lazer ft. Vybz Kartel – Pon de Floor (Slink Refix)
Fever Ray – Seven (Real Daniel)
Dizzee Rascal – Stand Up (Radioclit Remix)
Metric – Help I’m Alive (Twelves Remix)
The Hood Internet – My Gold Mask vs Roxy Music Bitches
Shakira – She Wolf (Villains Remix)
Stevie Knicks – Stand Back (Eli Escobar Remix)
Amanda Blank – Shame On Me (Jackknife Lee Extended Remix)
Adrian Lux – Can’t Sleep (Marcus Rumbo Pop Remix)
Best Mix Tapes
Serious Let Downs:
Grizzly Bear – Veckatemist
If this band’s musical onanism gets any more flagrant, someone should call the authorities. It wasn’t always this way.
Kid Cudi – Man on the Moon (The End of Days)
Really? Take all the hype anyone could ever shit their pants for and sneeze out a whiny, self-important record of new-age rap ballads? All your collaborators sound bored out of their check-cashing brains! Every single one of my bootleg non-album Cudi tracks are better than this crap, never thought a Lady Gaga hook could be a highlight of ANYTHING.
..which brings me to
Ugh. I can’t believe we just started this. It feels like it’s been forEVER and a coffee-less day with this woman.
Looking forward to full lengths from:
Why am I so late on Trans-genre.net? I think this has taught me a lesson about going outside! From the ABOUT section: Trans-Genre was born in Oct. 07’ when FTM rocker’ A.J. Bryce decided it was time for an entertainment-based Trans-exclusive resource. Their mission is to promote the many talented people within the Transgender Performance/Art Community and are putting their money where their mouths are by putting out a 2nd compilation of transgendered artists. The first one, already sold out, was a huge success and now they are seeking submissions for another one, set to be released in January 2010. Deadline’s October 1st. More information at the submission page.
Having just enjoyed myself immensely at Threat Level, it’s great to watch hosts Actor Slash Model’s sample of “Riot Acts,” their documentary about trans musicians. Its stated aim “Flaunting gender deviance in music performance” seems spot on, with a wide range of gender expressions as well as musical styles and fierce editing skills to boot. This sample really gets me excited for the final thing. September ’09 is the promised release date, keep up to date with the project and the Chicago based film makers at actorslashmodel.com
Threat Level, the bi-monthly screening of queer short films, is happening this Friday and the theme is musicals. I’m not sure there is anything gayer than a trans-positive musical, so FUCKING HOORAY for that. A little more exciting though, is that this time, Threat Level is showing a sneak preview of Riot Acts: Flaunting Gender Deviance in Music Performance, the documentary about trans-musicians produced and directed by Actor Slash Model. This film is gearing up to be the first of its kind: we’ve seen docs about certain performers, but this film will capture the state of queer music today while tackling issues related to being transgendered. Chicago has always been a hotbed for queerness, but this film will further put us on the map.
Friday, May 15th
Elegant Mr. Gallery
1355 N. Milwaukee Ave 3rd Fl
Doors 7:30pm / Screening 8:00pm
$5-10 sliding scale
When last we left Captainl0ver, he was signing Daft Punk. While it was always hot, it wasn’t the ambitious, sweaty, camera + abdominal cuts that we have for his version of Britney Spears’ “If You Seek Amy.” Nevermind the song: backdrops, scenery changes and some body sheen are making this quite a hobby, and if he keeps at it, Captainl0ver has some post-youtube potential. I mean, who else is making sexy, rhythmic music videos for the deaf?
It’s not a secret how much I love Ssion. Almost two years after its completion, the band is still riding high off of the success of their last album Fool’s Gold. Leader and visionary Cody Critcheloe has really been taking advantage of the attention on the record and the richness of material embedded in the songs to flesh out his talents as a video director. This video for the song “Bullshit” is no exception (I’m counting 8th music vid, not to mention all the out-takes and snippets, there is supposed to be a tour documentary in the works) to the rule that all Ssion videos are fun, edgy, sexy and queered. From the many set pieces to the “backing band” Waiting 2 Exhale (composed of Madonna, Roseanne and Courtney Love), Critcheloe’s love for art, the Woman, and comedy is a pleasure to behold. Check out an “interview” with the backing band below.
It’s easy to forget about Tara Jane O’Neil. Not knocking her or anything, but the influential bands that she was in (Retsin, Rodan) are still themselves fighting for recognition, and her solo records are the sonic opposite. While Rodan and Retsin were jagged and aggressive, TJO records tend to be atmospheric, with layers of textured folk and hushed electronics. Her albums always get the critics talking, but she has never been the lady of the moment, and here I am not forgetting her. Her music is rewarding for its quiet confidence and on stage, TJO takes over–her moods dominate the crowd and linger long after her set. A Ways Away, her 5th solo record is due on May 5th on K Records, check out an mp3 from it, “Drowning,” below.
Tara Jane O’Neil-Drowning
* Let the record show that TPR did not sleep on the first scheduled podcast.
I was riding the bus at around midnight on a Sunday night and these two cuties were right next to me. I couldn’t resist…I mean, aren’t they ADORABLE?
Anyway, here it is, just over 26 minutes. Brief, to the point, and a sign of things to come. The first ever Think Pink Radio podcast features songs by Grizzly Bear live on David Letterman, Walter Meego from his Apple commercial and Lightspeed Champion doing ABBA. Also, it has Ruth and Erik talking on the phone, Erik’s piece about Chicago’s Dyke March move (which he did for WBEZ’s 848 but it never got aired–side note–he is very self-conscious about it as he has never narrated something like that), talking with some guys right at the Dyke March kick off who had “never seen a lesbian before,” and a new intro!
Please let us know what you think! Stream it right here:
or download it here:
If you are a queer person, TPR wants to hear your story. We can talk to you in person (we can meet at our new home base, Wang’s in Lakeview, Chicago) or we can talk on the phone. Anyone that is queer and willing to talk openly (you can do anonymous, just give us the good stuff) is welcome to contact TPR at thinkpinkradio((@))gmail.com. Also, leave us some comments!
As you already know, Girls Like Us has made a compilation of queer music, specifically queer women’s music. It really delivers and it for sure some of its highlights have already been featured on these very pink pages. JD Samson’s project, Hirsute, The Rhythm King and Her Friends, Kingdom’s OMG Michelle, and Bunny Rabbit have all been talked about here. I was glad to unearth some gems from the comp, one of which was “Contact,” by French avant-popsters MathématiquesModernes, a cover of Serge Gainsbourg. Recorded in 1981, this is the only vintage track on the CD and it pops like a belly button outie. Check it out below, then head on over to Girls Like Us and get your own. Finally, Edwige Belmore, from MathématiquesModernes, lives in Brooklyn and keeps a blog.